Posts tagged ‘Tai Chi’

September 29, 2012

Take care of yourself, this fall and beyond.

The warm, sunny weather we’ve been enjoying this past week here in Portland makes it hard to believe that it’s fall. However, next week brings the first of October and most likely cooler, damp weather. It’s really important to take care of yourself during the seasons, especially as we transition between different kinds of weather. In this post, Michael Guida, one of our Amma Bodywork Therapy instructors, shares three simple T’ai Chi exercises specifically for your joints, to help keep you moving through fall and beyond. Keep reading below and check out the video!

Please join us for any or all of our community classes this Fall. In addition to T’ai Chi with Michael, we will also be offering Qigong, meditation, holistic nutrition and whole foods cooking. You can find the complete list with dates, times, class descriptions and more:

book now

Below three exercises recommended by Michael specifically for joint health and what he had to say about the benefits of each for this time of year.

Autumn is a natural time to be outside and active, whether it’s gardening, going for a run or heading out for a hike. Taking care of our joints is essential and doing exercises specifically to open joints helps us enjoy these and more activities all year long. Joint opening exercises range the joints in the directions that they normally move to increase circulation of qi and blood, but don’t necessarily focus on ‘stretching’ the muscles. Here are 3 basic examples where you can warm up major areas of the body simply. This is a great place to start for everyone, regardless of the activity.

Stand with your feet parallel and your arms hanging at your sides. Without engaging the shoulders or arms, rotate your hips & torso left and right allowing your arms to just flop and follow the movements of the hips. Like a washing machine rotate left and right. Do this for 30 – 60 seconds. This is great for opening the spinal joints, the hips and the shoulders.

Stand with your feet parallel. Shift the weight into the left leg and lift the right knee as far as you can while maintaining balance. Then point that knee out to the right as far as you can, then slowly lower the leg until the toe touches the floor. Then bring the leg back to center and repeat. If you are feeling adventurous reverse the direction. Do about 10 of those then switch legs. It is important that you move slow and controlled.

If you are doing things with your hands where grip is especially important (climbing, gardening, massaging, kayaking, fishing, etc…) it is a good idea to do some joint opening for your hands and wrists. Simply hold your hands in front of you and ‘shake them out’ as if you are trying to shake off water droplets from your fingertips. This can be pretty vigorous and you can repeat for 30-60 seconds. This is great to do before, during and after any activity involving heavy hand use. It is also good to do if you sit at the computer for long periods of time.

Michael recommends you take the time to do these before, possibly during, and after activity, to feel better during your activity AND help stave off injuries. After all….who wants to be sidelined during the fabulous fall season or ever for that matter?

January 3, 2011

Come Move with us in the New Year! PDX class

The New Year is  always a time for evaluating our lives, reassessing our priorities and making new commitments.  Often those commitments include improving our health.    The winter is a great time to try a mindful form of movement, such as T’ai Chi Chuan.  T’ai Chi is a great way to improve balance, support your joints and get focused.   Centuries old Chen Style T’ai Chi is said to be practiced with “a serene heart and a concentrated mind.”  Your nervous system is able to recharge, achieving deep relaxation.  Your body is rejuvenated by harmonizing the function of the inside and the outside of the body, circulation of blood and lymph is circulated, bone structure is improved, muscles are toned, and metabolism is regulated.

Chen T’ai Chi is composed of spiraling movements and practiced muscle control.  The qi flows from the tan tien (core center of energy) to the entire body through the spiral movements.  The Chen style is characterized by spiral movements that are soft and gentle with some fast and explosive motions interspersed, which facilitate the movement of qi.

Chen Style T’ai Chi Chuan can benefit the body by relieving pain, correcting digestive problems, relieve stress and build self-confidence, and discovering internal energy flow.

Come rejuvenate yourself and join us in Portland for a 13 class series of Chen Style T’ai Chi Chuan.

This class is devoted to learning the 19-movement form of Chen T’ai Chi. This is a simplified form developed by Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang to serve as a powerful introduction to the ancient Chen style T’ai Chi Chuan.

Class dates: (13) Fridays. Class dates (2011): January 14th, 21st, 28th, February 4th, 11th, 25th, March 11th, 18th, April 1st, 15th, 22nd, 29th, and May 6th. There will be no class on February 18th, March 4th, March 25th April 8th or May 13th. There will be an additional class hour on March 11th and May 6th for Amma students only to accommodate a midpoint and final form review.

The first three classes are open enrollment and drop-in’s are encouraged.  Enrollment closes before the beginning of the 4th class.  All students must be registered to take the series before the start of the 4th class.

Class Cost: Public attendees: $170 for 13 class/hour series (paid up front) or $14/if paid per class.  Current Amma and existing Yan Li students please contact the office directly for information on class pricing at 503-752-4840.

Introductory Special: Paying participants may bring a friend for free to one of the first three classes (only).

Or see: http://redirectguide.com/isavegreen/display.asp?isg=3511 for a coupon.

September 7, 2010

The value of Tai Chi and Qigong – Why do a daily practice?

Submitted by Rylen Feeney Dipl. ABT, CH (NCCAOM) LMT (Or 14733 & NY)

Tai Chi and Qigong –  In a world filled with hustle and bustle; a world of “too much” to do in not enough time.  We may find ourselves multitasking in nearly every level of our lives – losing sight of the importance of one.  Losing sight of how powerful single minded intent can be.

I find reprieve in a daily practice of meditation, or tai chi/qigong.  Sometimes it is enough to just sit.  But sometimes to just sit, first I need to move gently and intentionally.   Tai Chi and Qigong are classic intentional movement arts that serve to harmonize the mind and body.   Both are designed to cultivate one’s consciousness and spirit.  To fill the body with life force (Qi) and to circulate it freely and harmoniously – so that we may have greater vitality, health, and so that we my feel congruency within ourselves.

Tai Chi and Qigong are the diligent practice of developing and directing one’s Qi.  They deeply and positively synchronize the the body and the mind.  In Chinese Medicine we say “where the mind goes, Qi flows and and where Q flows, Blood goes.”   When we practice Tai Chi or Qigong we learn to hone our focus and to direct the movement of Qi and blood in our bodies.   This leads to increased alpha brain wave states (the calm alert state experienced in deep meditation), it strengthens the heart, lowers blood pressure, increases endurance and stamina, tones and strengthens the body, reduces chronic pain, improves proprioceptive awareness and balance.

The beauty of Tai Chi or Qigong is that they can be practiced by anyone of any age and like all of Chinese Medicine, they’re effects are immediate and profound – and yet continue to unfold and multiply as we deepen and continue our practice.

Discover the benefits first-hand and consider taking a little time-out of the frenetic pace of life and cultivate wholeness through a daily practice of Tai Chi or Qigong.

Boise:
Ongoing Chen Tai Chi – Saturday mornings 8:30 – 9:30 with Troy Lentell.
1000 Hands Buddha Qigong workshop, Sunday, October 10, 10 – 6pm with Nedda Jamstremsky

Portland:
1000 Hands Buddha Qigong, Friday afternoons 3 -4pm 9/10 – 11/5 with Polly Maliongas

Call 208-388-0206 or email us to register or for more details.

August 1, 2010

Chen Style T’ai Chi Chuan

TROY LENTELL

Starts Saturday, July 17, 2010 (Boise) 8:30AM-9:30AM

This class is devoted to learning the 19-movement form of Chen T’ai Chi. This is a simplified form developed by Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang to serve as a powerful introduction to the ancient Chen style T’ai Chi Chuan. Chen style is characterized by spiral movements and combines soft, energetic flow with sharp, explosive power. Classes are ongoing, Saturday mornings 8:30AM-9:30AM beginning July 17th going through October. Class Cost: $12 drop-in or class cards available.

%d bloggers like this: